WE ACT30. July 2021.
International Philanthropy Commitment on Climate Change
We, the undersigned organisations, recognise the growing climate emergency, and the serious risk it presents to the pursuit of our philanthropic aims. We believe that all organisations with philanthropic resources, whatever their mission and ﬁeld of expertise, can play a role in addressing this emergency. The Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Agreement show a clear international consensus on the urgency of addressing climate change, through mitigation and adaptation actions. There is a special responsibility on philanthropic organisations, which hold assets for the common good, to use their resources, independence and inﬂuence to rise to the challenge now.
The necessary changes to sharply reduce emissions and to adapt to climate change bring opportunities for new industries, good jobs, a cleaner environment, increased biodiversity, and improved wellbeing, but also involve signiﬁcant costs. The philanthropy sector can help to bring about these changes, to ensure that everyone has equitable access to opportunities arising from the transition to a low carbon economy, and to ensure that the costs are not disproportionately borne by those who are least able to pay. The scale of the climate emergency, and the scale of the solutions needed, means that this is a global challenge that affects us all. Climate change is a health issue, a gender equality issue, a racial and social justice issue, an educational issue, an economic issue, a cultural issue, a security issue, a human rights issue, and a local community issue. Many individuals and groups across the world are showing bold and effective leadership, including young people, women and Indigenous Peoples.
Countries, communities and organisations without a fair share of global ﬁnancial resources are the least responsible for emissions, and yet are at greatest risk. The countries, communities and organisations with the largest share of global ﬁnancial resources are responsible for the largest share of emissions, historically and today. The actions we can take, and the resources we have available, will vary from signatory to signatory, and from country to country. What we have in common is this public commitment to act. We invite all philanthropic organisations everywhere to join us, by signing this international commitment, or by joining a national funder commitment on climate change.
We, the undersigned organisations, commit to action as follows:
1. Education and learning
We will ensure that our boards, investment committees, staff, volunteers and stakeholders are informed about the systemic causes, impacts and solutions of climate change, and the implications for our work.
2. Commitment of Resources
Recognising the urgency of the situation, we will commit resources to accelerate work that addresses the root causes of climate change or adaptation to its impacts. If our governing document or other factors make it difficult to directly fund such work, we will find other ways to contribute, or consider how such barriers might be overcome.
Within the design and implementation of our programmes, we will seek opportunities to contribute to a fair and lasting transition to a net zero world, and to support adaptation to climate change impacts, especially in the most affected communities.
4. Endowments and assets
We will consider climate change in relation to the source and management of our operational and any endowed funds. We will seek to align our investment strategy and its implementation with a rapid and just transition to a net zero economy.
We will take ambitious action to minimise the climate impact of our own operations, which may include for example travel, buildings and procurement.
6. Influencing and advocacy
We will seek opportunities to work with others, to amplify the voices of frontline communities, and to encourage and support more ambitious action on climate change by our key stakeholders, partners and audiences; these may include businesses, local or national governments, multilateral organisations, donors and funders, individuals or civil society movements.
We will collect and publish information annually on the actions we have taken against the six pillars listed above to share our progress and identify areas for improvement. We will continue to develop our practice, to collaborate, and to learn from each other.